In a shining example of exactly how not to behave in the courtroom, a South African lawyer has hurled the C and F bombs at a surprised judge before storming out.
RollonFriday reports that lawyer Nehemiah Ballem was due to appear before Judge Lee Bozalek in the South Africa's Western Cape Court last week, but ended up arriving several hours late.
Understandably, the judge was not too impressed by Ballem's excuse that his "car broke down", and asked why he perhaps couldn't have phoned the court on his mobile to tell them he would be late.
When Ballem growled "how long must we hassle with this?" the judge promptly warned him about his attitude.
This seemed to push an already tense Ballem over the edge, as he yelled "your mother's c**t, man! F**k you!"
He then left the court.
Ballem has since claimed that he was under the influence of alcohol, having cracked open the Smirnoff in his broken down car while waiting for the tow truck to arrive. The Cape Bar council is investigating the incident.
The entire exchange (translated from the Afrikaans) is below, courtesy of IOL news.
Judge: "Now first of all, Mr Ballem, where were you this morning?"
Ballem: "My lord, I just want to know if my clerk gave you a message?"
Judge: "Yes, we got a confused message ... (about) car problems you had."
Ballem: "Exactly. Now do you want to hear it again?"
Judge: "Excuse me?"
Ballem: "Do you want to hear the excuse again?"
Ballem: "My car broke down."
Judge: "Now why did you realise that around 10am when court proceedings were about to begin?"
Ballem: "We had to wait for the AA."
Ballem: "To tow the car away."
Judge: "But you, no doubt, had a cellphone?"
Ballem: "I didn't know about the case. I didn't have my diary (sakboek) with me."
Judge: "Your bag (sakkie) wasn't with you?"
Ballem: "My diary wasn't with me."
Judge: "Yes. Could you not have phoned the High Court half an hour, an hour, before the time?"
Ballem: "Judge, how long must we hassle with this?"
Judge: "Excuse me?"
Ballem: "How long must we hassle with this? I've now gone to some trouble to be here."
Judge: "Mr Ballem, perhaps you don't realise, your first duty, if you have to appear in the High Court, is to be here, and you are not doing us a favour by being here, despite your problems. Why are you turning your face away from me while I'm speaking?"
Ballem: "Well, I asked my secretary to pass on a message and I assume she must have done so."
Judge: "Yes, but then we got ..." (interrupted)
Ballem: "Now do you want the message from me again?"
Judge: "Then we got another strange message: Could the case be postponed until Monday, a telephonic request for a postponement?"
Ballem: "Exactly. Then I got the message that you were prepared to wait for me, and now I am here."
Judge: "You were not involved in another case this morning, were you?"
Ballem: "I was not involved, Judge. I am here now." (He slams his hand on the desk.)
Judge: "Sir (meneer), your attitude, you must..." (interrupted)
Ballem: "But then you must not also come ..." (interrupted)
Judge: "You must be careful about your attitude, Mr Ballem, in front of the court."
Ballem: "But then you must also not come with an attitude."
Judge: "Excuse me?"
Ballem: "I said then you must not come with an attitude, because we are both adults, I am not your child."
Judge: "Mr Ballem, I must tell you ..." (interrupted)
Ballem: "I said I am not your child."
Judge: "I must warn you ..." (interrupted)
Ballem: "You do exactly what you want. Do what you want."
Judge: "You are sailing very close to the wind."
Ballem: "Jou ma se p**s, man! (your mother's c**t, man) F**k you!" (Ballem leaves the courtroom).
Judge: "Ms van Rooyen?"
Van Rooyen: "I don't know what to say, my lord, except to suggest we remove the matter from the roll for today, and there we can ..." (interrupted)
Judge: "I think the matter should rather be postponed sine die (adjourned indefinitely)."
Van Rooyen: "I agree ... We'll get other legal representation and then ..." (interrupted)
Judge: "How will that be arranged?"
Van Rooyen: "My lord, I will take the case back to advocate Van der Merwe. He will arrange that someone else takes over the case ... the documents are ready in any case."
Judge: "I think it should remain with this court and I think the most appropriate order is that it be postponed indefinitely ... Right, this case is postponed sine die, and Snellers (Legal Transcriptions) are requested to type all the proceedings that took place."